Great response from all sectors and my utmost thanks to all the organizations coming forward to collaborate in Guwahati so that we can take the Awareness, Education and Research on Breast Cancer forward! Sincerely thankful for supporting the cause!
12th July, 2018, after reaching Guwahati, I headed to meet Mrs. Bhaswati Khaund Goswami, Communication officer, Center for North East Studies and Policy Research(C-NES). The organization has been providing basic health care services to the flood vulnerable population living in the Brahmaputra islands, through specially developed boats popularly known as the "Ships of Hope in the valley of Floods" equipped with OPD, laboratories on board as well as pharmacies, to thirteen districts in Assam through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the National Health Mission (NHM), Government of Assam. The goal is to take sustained health care to lakhs of persons on the islands, with a special focus on women and children, who are the most vulnerable in difficult conditions (www.c-nes.org). We are collaborating & working together to spread breast cancer awareness & give the Breast self exam cards in the areas where C-NES work- among some of the most marginalized and vulnerable communities dwelling in the Brahmaputra river islands in Assam, India.
I was so amazed to know about Boat clinics and the tremendous amount of work they are doing to reach the islands where access is minimal. Excellent outreach and work and I am so honored and happy to collaborate with C-NES! We would also like to build the collaborative project as an epidemiological research study along with awareness & education!
Sincerely thankful to Mrs. Susmita Baruah for connecting me to Mrs. Bhaswati Khaund.
Dr. B. Borooah Cancer Institute: My heartfelt thanks to Dr. Amal Chandra Kataki, Director, BBCI for inviting me as a Guest Faculty on 13th July and 14th July during two weeks summer training program on Cancer Registry and Epidemiology hands-on Training on Molecular Cancer Biology and Palliative Care. BCH has collaborated for research with Dr. Srabana M. Bhagabaty, Associate Professor, Preventive Oncology; Dr. Manigreeva Krishnatreya, Medical Officer, Cancer Registry and Epidemiology; Dr. Mouchumee Bhattacharyya, Additional Professor, Radiation Oncology and together we look forward to add value to the scientific grounds on Breast Cancer research in Assam. I am sincerely thankful for supporting the research cause and your collaboration. Dr. Kataki has supported the thoughts on Clinical Breast Exams and also giving out handouts on Breast Self Exams. I am sincerely thankful to Mr. Bibhuti Dutta, President Rotary Club of Guwahati for connecting me to Dr. Kataki. My utmost thanks to Mrs. Sapna Bordoloi for connecting me to Mr. Bibhuti Dutta. Cannot thank you both enough!
My sincere thanks to Bodhana, a non-profit foundation, for their collaboration and organizing events on 12th and 15th July. Thanks to Dr. Ishita Deb for connecting me to Bodhana. Bodhana offers young women the opportunity to make choices for their own health and dignity by improving access to women’s health education and affordable sanitary protection. Bodhana organized Breast Cancer Awareness & Education events in Sonapur, Guwahati and in the Prajapati Brahmakumari Center, Guwahati. I was astonished by the positive response after my presentation & the willingness to talk openly. The interaction sessions were very intense & fruitful. Many came up to me and mentioned about losing their moms and other family members and the cause reflected the focus of my presentation - Embarrassment and taboo! Sincerely thankful to the founders of Bodhana, Mr. Nelson Deb, Mr. Shantanu Paul and Mr. Sandip Nath for their collaboration and supporting the cause! Bodhana will distribute free BSE cards and also talk about Breast health to areas of their outreach. Great initiative by the founders of Bodhana. I sincerely thank them for their selfless thought process.
My utmost thanks to Mrs. Nandini Dutta, Counselling & Hand holding, Sanjeevani NGO. Thanks to Mr. Binoy Kr. Sarma for connecting me to Nandini Dutta.
I am also thankful to Mrs. Sonali Mazumdar, Founder, Nrityangan, Dr. Bimal Ch. Das, Associate Professor, Guwahati College, Ms. Meghna Das and Manjushree Das for coming forward to help spread the word about importance of Breast Health.
My greatest thanks to Mrs. Catherine Prentice, Cancer survivor - Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL), diagnosed at age 17 years, for sharing her brave journey, an inspiration for mankind, the way she fought cancer at such a young age and now more than 20 years survivor!
I am so thankful to Dr. Ishita Deb, Mr. Shantanu Paul, for my accommodation in their home in Guwahati and for all their love and affection!
An overview: Interactive sessions after my presentations were very helpful! Women spoke to me about the issues with their Breast health, they were unaware earlier that a small lump could become so dangerous if they kept quiet. Few women came to me and told me how their family members passed away from Breast cancer due to shyness and not disclosing to their own families! I was so glad because the same women who never spoke about their Breast health in front of their family members were now coming up and getting the courage because now they knew that shyness may cost their life and Breast is a part of our body and we need to break the society imposed taboo!
By Dr. Lopamudra Das Roy,
Founder & President, Breast Cancer Hub